A RAIL operator will be running a reduced weekday service across five different routes.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which runs Thameslink and Southern Rail, will be introducing a new timetable today after a significant rise in employees needing to isolate because of Covid-19.

Passengers are being advised to check the new train times before they travel to avoid confusion.

The Thameslink routes affected are between Sutton and St Albans City and between Gatwick Airport and Bedford.

The service group between Gatwick and Bedford via Horley, Salfords, Earlswood and Redhill will not run, and alternative trains will call at Earlswood and Salfords hourly throughout the day.

This means that there will be a reduced service between Bedford, London and Brighton, as there will only be two services per hour.

During peak hours, there are extra trains that will still run during the amended timetable.

The Southern routes that are affected by the new train times are between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction, Beckenham Junction and London Bridge via Dulwich and London Bridge and Caterham/Tattenham Corner.

The Argus: Govia Thameslink Railway will be operating a reduced timetable due to Covid-19Govia Thameslink Railway will be operating a reduced timetable due to Covid-19

GTR is hoping that by bringing in a reduced timetable, passengers will have more certainty about services and experience fewer short notice cancellations.

Steve White, chief operating officer for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: "Regrettably, we have had to make the difficult decision to reduce some weekday services.

"Unfortunately, like other industries across the country, Covid-19 continues to affect our operations. We have fewer colleagues available at the moment due to a significant increase recently in the number of our people affected by Covid-19.

"Our colleagues have continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic, and we're really sorry for any inconvenience caused by the latest changes.

"By bringing in a reduced timetable now, it will help to reduce short notice cancellations and give customers more certainty. We strongly advise passengers to check before they travel, including at weekends."

Even with the reduced timetable, it is still possible that additional changes could be made to the schedule, even on weekends.

There is no date currently in place for the timetable to end. It will be reviewed weekly should any further changes need to be made.

Passengers are also being told that journeys would not be updated on www.nationalrail.co.uk more than seven days in advance due to a technical limitation.

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